Definition of syllogism
1 : a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion (as in “every virtue is laudable; kindness is a virtue; therefore kindness is laudable”)
2 : a subtle, specious, or crafty argument
3 : deductive reasoning
syllogisticplay \ˌsi-lə-ˈjis-tik\ adjective
syllogisticallyplay \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
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Examples of syllogism in a Sentence
An example of a syllogism is: “All men are human; all humans are mortal; therefore all men are mortal.”
Did You Know?
For those trained in formal argument, the syllogism is a classical form of deduction. One example is the inference that "kindness is praiseworthy" from the premises "every virtue is praiseworthy" and "kindness is a virtue." "Syllogism" came to English through Anglo-French from Latin syllogismus, which in turn can be traced back through Greek to the verb syllogizesthai, meaning "to infer." In Greek logizesthai means "to calculate" and derives from logos, meaning "word" or "reckoning." "Syl-" comes from syn-, meaning "with" or "together."
Origin and Etymology of syllogism
Middle English silogisme, from Anglo-French sillogisme, from Latin syllogismus, from Greek syllogismos, from syllogizesthai to syllogize, from syn- + logizesthai to calculate, from logos reckoning, word — more at legend
First Known Use: 14th century
SYLLOGISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of syllogism for English Language Learners
: a formal argument in logic that is formed by two statements and a conclusion which must be true if the two statements are true
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